Official: Breen part ways with M-Sport Ford for 2023

M-Sport Ford announced today that Craig Breen will not continue with them in 2023 as the team is looking for a new leading driver ahead of the new season.

The Irishman left Hyundai Motorsport at the end of 2021 and signed a two-year contract with M-Sport Ford for the seasons 2022-2023. Due to the fact that Breen did not deliver the results that the team wanted, both sides agreed to terminate their deal prematurely. 

According to rumors, Breen is set to return at Hyundai Motorsport for next year and to have Thierry Neuville, Dani Sordo and Esapekka Lappi as his teammates. However, it must be mentioned that the Alzenau-based team will confirm its drivers for 2023 this week.

On the other hand, M-Sport Ford is looking for a new team leader for the new season and it is rumored that Ott Tanak will join them after his departure from Hyundai Motorsport.

Last but not least, it must be mentioned that Breen started in a positive way this year as he finished third overall at Rallye Monte Carlo, but after this event he made many mistakes which led him to restart some rallies under the regulations of Rally2. Totally, he had only two podiums and ten stage wins in 2022 while he did not delived good results in rallies that he had experience such as Rally Finland and Ypres Rally Belgium.

"I want to extend a big thank you to M-Sport and the whole team for everything they’ve done for me this year", Breen said. 

"It has been an important season as my first full-time drive and to complete that in a Puma has been fantastic.

 "There have been a lot of fun times and laughs together on this albeit, short journey. 

"M-Sport has a real family feel and it will be sad to leave that behind. 

"It has been a great experience for me to be part of the team, but ultimately, it’s time to move on. 

"I’m looking forward to the future and continuing to build my partnership with James. 

"I wish the team all the best for next season".

Moreover, Richard Millener said: "It’s been a pleasure working with Craig, and I was personally very happy to get him and Paul Nagle in the team this year after a lot of hard work making it happen. 

"I think we all knew the potential that was there, and I’ll always remember a lot of highs from the year – not least the double podium he secured for the team alongside S├ębastien Loeb at the start of the year. 

"Unfortunately, though, sometimes things just don’t quite click, and this is the reality of the situation we face.

 "Craig is a very talented driver and I have no doubt that he has more yet to achieve in his career, but the team feel we need a new approach for 2023. 

"We wish Craig and James the very best of luck for the future, and we now turn our attentions towards next season and securing a competitive line-up for the Puma Hybrid Rally1".

Finally, Malcolm Wilson stated: "I want to thank Craig for his year with the team. 

"He delivered some solid results throughout the season with two podiums and stage-winning performances on a variety of surfaces, but unfortunately the consistency wasn’t there to lead the team into 2023.

 "I want nothing but success for those who have progressed through our Ladder of Opportunity, and Craig has been a perfect example of that. 

"After making his WRC debut in the Fiesta Sporting Trophy he went on to secure both the FIA WRC Academy and S2000 Championship crown before making his world rally car debut – all behind the wheel of a Fiesta.

 "I am proud of the role M-Sport have had in making him the driver he is today, and we had hoped to see him secure his first WRC victory with a Ford too. 

"Sadly, that wasn’t to be, but I wish him every success and all the very best for the future".

Photo Credits: M-Sport

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